Dr. Wayne O. Southwick died peacefully in his sleep on April 10, at the Branford, Connecticut Hospice. He was born in Lincoln Nebraska on February 6, 1923, to Dorothy Harpham and Philip Lee Southwick, and was raised in Friend, a farm town of 1, 000. During the Depression, he woke at sunrise for his paper route, and bicycled down to the railroad tracks to retrieve his bundle of newspapers tossed from the speeding Grand Island steam train. Wayne loved competing in steeplechases with his horse Red, and helping his Mom bake cherry pies. He was proud of becoming an Eagle Scout and Valedictorian of his high school class.
At the University of Nebraska, where he played football, he met J. Ann Seacrest, his wife of 71 years. After Wayne graduated from University of Nebraska Medical School, the couple moved to Massachusetts where Wayne interned at Boston City Hospital, and then to Maryland where he trained in Orthopedics at Johns Hopkins. In the midst of his training, the Navy stationed him in Korea where he operated on wounded U.S. soldiers. In 1959 he brought his enthusiasm, energy, and Nebraska charm to New Haven as Chief of Orthopedics. Under Wayne's leadership, combined with Ann's gracious social support, Yale Orthopedics became a premier training program. Together they mentored many appreciative residents who progressed to illustrious academic careers.
Wayne Southwick was the first awardee of the American Orthopedics Association Diversity Award in recognition because he welcomed students, staff and faculty from all backgrounds to Yale Orthopedics. During this time he also volunteered to serve in Haiti and Africa to correct orthopedic deformities and injuries. He was a member of the Board of the Old Lyme Art Academy, served as Director of the Board for Connecticut Hospice, and organized the Old Saybrook Train Association, a citizen group instrumental in encouraging Amtrak to continue train service to the town. Upon retiring from Orthopedics, Wayne embraced sculpture under the tutelage of Bruno Lucchesi. and traveled to Italy to create many of his bronzes. Several of his statues are now displayed on the campuses of the Yale Medical School, the Hopkins School, and the Connecticut Hospice.
First and foremost Wayne was the "Best Dad in the world" as his children often reminded him. He encouraged all those he mentored to "Do your best." It didn't matter if you won or lost as long as "you tried your hardest." His humility, sense of humor, and mid-√Ę‚,¨¬źWestern can-√Ę‚,¨¬źdo attitude will live on in the hearts of all those he touched.
He is survived by his loving sons and daughter: Frederick Southwick (and wife, Kathleen) Steven Southwick, and Marcia Southwick; his grandchildren: Nicholas Levis, Peter Southwick, Christina Baker, and Ashley Schivelbein; and his great grandchildren: Avery Baker, and Lennox Schivelbein. A memorial service, in Wayne's honor, will be announced at a later date. In lieu of Flowers, donations may be sent to Connecticut Hospice, 100 Double Beach Road, Branford, CT. 06405.